“The voters arrived from all over the country: nine of them named John, 10 who’d come from mobile homes, four who lived in South Dakota. Twenty-seven considered themselves extremely conservative; 30 said they were extremely liberal. Twenty-one were out of work and looking for it. Two came with service dogs.”
In 109 deliberative polls held in 28 countries around the world, after hearing speakers and deliberating with others, people change their choices from the first telephone poll almost 70 percent of the time.
“The public is very smart if you give it a chance…If people think their voice actually matters, they’ll do the hard work, really study their briefing books, ask the experts smart questions and then make tough decisions. When they hear the experts disagreeing, they’re forced to think for themselves. About 70 percent change their minds in the process.”
Deliberative polling is an essential ingredient of building a new reality. It has the potential to revitalize culture, improve public discourse, and generate better solutions to our most urgent problems, because it relies on the collective wisdom of an informed crowd.
Ted Wachtel responds to David Heekin’s concerns about sortition in his “Pie In The Sky” blog post.
Over the course of 18 months, from October 2016 to April 2018, ninety-nine randomly selected Irish citizens did an incredible thing: They made policy recommendations to their government. And what’s more, the government listened and responded.
By Ted Wachtel Texas is famous for its divisive politics. Moderates are seen by many as spineless. Texas populist Jim Hightower says that in his state, “There’s nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos.” So how is it possible that Texas—one of the original gas and oil states—is now […]
by Ted Wachtel Many people believe the current system of government and elections is broken. Perhaps we can fix democracy with more democracy. To learn how, please watch the video or read the text below the video. by Ted Wachtel (VIDEO TEXT) — In the original democracy in ancient Athens, Greece, most public officials were not elected. Instead, […]
In his award-winning book, The Wisdom of Crowds, James Surowiecki explains that the many are smarter than the few—but only under the right conditions. Political scientist James Fishkin’s deliberative democracy experiments persuasively prove that ordinary citizens can deal with complex problems and make thoughtful decisions. “The public is very smart if you give it a chance…If people think their voice actually matters, they’ll do the hard work.”